The Greatest Aviation Mystery : What Happened to Malaysian Flight MH370?
It’s the greatest aviation mystery of all time. What do you mean by we lost something as big as a little hill. Malaysian Airline Flight MH370 vanished without a trace. As the airplane disappeared, few clues are found. Aviation experts consider a handful people have compelling theories. For example, a fire could have affected electrical system. The possibility of hijacking also jumps here.
Boeing 777 isn’t a plane to get lost so easily.
The Boeing 777 is the most automated plane in the world. It is a family of long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliners developed and manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes, an American company. It was the world’s first commercial aircraft entirely designed by computers. The 777 is capable of cruising altitudes at up to 43,100 feet. Crew can simply enter the location of the waypoint into their flight and the place is ready to take them to the reaching point all by itself. Flying 777 is really managing work for any pilot. It has lots of functionality and highly sophisticated electronic.
What happened before it vanished?
On the night of 8th March at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, Malaysian Flight MH370 has completed final preparation for a night flight to Beijing, China. Flight contains 227 passengers from 15 nations (152 of them are Chinese citizens, 50 of them are Malaysian), 10 cabin crew, two pilots and 14,296 kg (31,517 lb) of cargo. The trip takes about 6 hours. 42 minutes after midnight, flight 370 gets clearance for takeoff from the runway 32R. The takeoff was completely according the normal routine. As the plane climbs in the air, the controller directs the pilot towards a navigational waypoint called IGARI. And the Air Traffic Control navigated them to climb flight level 180 (approximately 18000 feet or 5,500 m) on a direct path to waypoint IGARI.
20 minutes after the takeoff, about at 01:22 AM, flight reached at the cruising altitude 35,000 feet. After that, crew will now monitor the autopilot until they are ready to land. Well, Air Traffic Controllers in Kuala Lumpur will only track the plane while it is in Malaysian Airspace about 20 minutes more. When the plane will cross the gulf of Thailand, Air Traffic Controllers of Vietnam will take over. The Controllers in Kuala Lumpur made one last transmission at 1:19 AM. But 19 minutes later there is no response from flight 370. After that risk nation controllers in Vietnam and Malaysia tried desperately to reach the missing plane. But they failed. There is no response from cockpit and even no sign of the plane on the radar…! Flight is completely vanished without a trace. This unfortunate and mysterious incident will probably counted as the number one mysterious disaster in world aviation history. Family members demand answers from the airline. And at another side all aviation experts in worldwide scramble to try to explain what actually happened?
Aftermaths of the Incident
Malaysian authorities immediately launch a massive search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370. Australia, china and Us soon joined the mission. Even these technologically advanced and knowledgeable countries didn’t have any clue where to search? I mean it’s difficult to know where to look? Actually flight 370 disappeared over the gulf of Thailand where there is limited radar coverage. No ships and no flights recorded any signal from flight 370.
Desperate to save any potential crash survivors searchers turn to another technology. It’s called E/CAR aircraft communication addressing and reporting system. The E/CAR system uses satellites to transmit information between the ground and the aircraft in flight. But E/CAR did not provide constant data. Though, it provided vital information on how the plane was crucially releasing its fuel load. This thing allows investigators to estimate how far it could have flown. But without knowing the direction of the plane it is not much to go on. The search grows to more than 100,000 square miles.
Now, many questions arises. Maybe it could have been a technical problem or the plane was hijacked. Anything could be possible. After reviewing passenger list, the Malaysian police noticed 2 passengers boarded illegally. They had stolen passports. But in fact on the board seems to have any connection with any terrorist group. Maybe it could be possible it could be done by pilot? Captain Zahari Ahmed Shah was in command. He worked for airlines for 33 years. But first officer Fariq Abdul Hamid has less experience. This is his first time to fly Boeing 777 without an instructor.
Three days after the disappearance of the flight, Malaysian military releases radar data. According to their data, three minutes after its last radio call flight made a sharp turn of course. At this time possibility of hijacking jumps in. But an airplane pilot have many ways to inform the traffic controller if a hijacking has happened. But, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
In London, a small team of engineers at Inmarsat (British satellite Telecommunications Company) has made startling discovery. Inmarsat technicians have made a stunning discovery deep in the E/CAR data. They have uncovered a series of automated signals. The plane’s E/CAR computer continues to answer the automated pains from the Inmarsat ground station every hour from 2:25 AM until 8:19 AM..!! That means plane did not crash over Gulf of Thailand. And plane has enough fuel to flight for 7 hours. But no one knows what was happening on board on that time.
Few days later, another report was published. According to this report plane made 3 turns over the next hour and a half after the last radio transmission. First to turn to the left then two more taking the plane West then South towards Antarctica. According to some expert those turn are strongly suggested by someone in the cockpit. But when considering all the facts a flight 370 that scenario just doesn’t seems to be right either.
We don’t know who or what caused this. But it obviously needs to be solved. So we can learned from it and prevent similar mistakes and casualties in future and make the whole world a little bit safer than before. Maybe the most important lesson from this tragedy has already been learned.
We have to hook a GPS up to one of those transmitters that in the most cases already there and make sure that nobody in the airplane could turn it off.